By Mike Peluso
Old news is good news. The big walleyes are still lingering around the Missouri River near Bismarck, and that’s a great thing; especially if you have kids, as this is the best time to introduce a young person to fishing. I still have the remainder of May that I will be guiding on the river. The spring for me has gone way too fast and I’m going to miss not having to be a road warrior to do my job. The reports will switch to Devils Lake and Lake Sakakawea starting in June.
What is happening locally on the Missouri River near Bismarck? Lots of walleyes are being caught and there is a continued nice mix in size. Anglers are still seeing one of those big girls each day that range in the 26-to-32-inch range. Most, if not all, are spawned out now. They are still fun to see come up from the darkness and into a net. While they may be less impressive without the egg weight, they are still awesome fish to catch!
Jigs and minnows are still doing the bulk of the catching. Crawlers on jigs will take off as soon as the water temps hit the 50’s consistently. Look for these fish now in spots that are right off the main channel. Remember a lot of fish are traveling the opposite direction they were just a week or two ago. One has to look at the river in reverse following the spawn. The outsides of the spots that seemed to hold fish earlier in the season will produce like crazy right now. Fish are using the current to drift themselves back to Oahe all while they are trying to recover from the spawn.
I expect the bite to remain strong on the southern Missouri River all the way into June even with the seasonal increase in recreational watercraft on the river. I have a few openings left for May and a continued bite on the river and scattered dates for Devils Lake and Sakakawea later this summer.
Mike Peluso is a Dakota Edge Outdoors Contributing Writer and a licensed ND Fishing Guide on the state’s most noted walleye waters.
Featured Photo: Anglers are still connecting with bigger female walleyes at this time, with most of them having completed their spring spawning efforts. DEO Photo by Mike Peluso.